Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, is alleged to be directly communicating with certain commanders of Ukraine’s Armed Forces (UAF), and intentionally bypassing the Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny, Ukrainska Pravda (UP) reported on Monday citing anonymous sources.
According to the sources quoted in an article entitled "The War against Politics. What is really going on between Zelensky and Zaluzhny", this behavior is undermining and impeding Zaluzhny's ability to effectively lead the UAF.
“Sometimes there is an impression that Zelensky has two types of Armed Forces of Ukraine: the ‘good ones’ commanded by Syrsky and other favorites, and the ‘bad ones’ who obey Zaluzhny," a source supposedly from Zaluzhny's inner circle said anonymously.
“This is very demotivating for the commander-in-chief and, most importantly, prevents him from commanding the entire army,” he added.
Details provided in the article indicate that Zelensky has established parallel communication channels with a number of commanders of different branches of the AFU, including Alexander Syrsky the Ground Forces commander and Nikolai Oleshchuk head of the Air Force.
While this approach perhaps makes it easier for the president to get a first-hand picture of the situation on the ground, it reportedly disrupts the normal chain of command for Zaluzhny.
The article cites an instance where Zelensky directly intervened in issues surrounding regional military enlistment offices.
Zelensky's call for the dismissal of the heads of a number of regional recruitment centers, prompted by corruption concerns, led to unintended consequences, including a sharp drop in mobilization in the affected areas.
The head of the State Bureau of Investigation (DBR), Oleksii Sukhachev, visited the Headquarters in the summer and started reporting on the dismissal of military commissars.
Subsequently, the floor was given to Zaluzhny, who said: “I want to express my gratitude to law enforcement officers; the issue of corruption is crucial.
“However, I also want to share the latest data on mobilization. At this point, there was a significant decline in all areas,” Zaluzhny was reported as saying by one of the participants of that meeting, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
The report also highlights the repercussions of changes among senior personnel, including the dismissals of the Special Ops Commander Khorenko, Medical Forces Commander Ostashchenko, and the possible resignation of United Forces commander Nayev.
All these military figures were closely associated with Zaluzhny, and their removal introduced instability within the hierarchical command structure according to the UP article.
The apparent rift between Zaluzhny and Zelensky gained more traction in early November when The Economist published an interview in which Zaluzhny declared that the war had reached an impasse. In response, Zelensky rejected the notion of a “stalemate” on the frontline.
Another report from The Economist suggested that the relationship between Zaluzhny and Zelensky, could only be described as “terrible.”
However, officials from the President's Office dismissed these claims as nonsensical, emphasizing unity in the face of external threats.
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